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Most Important Goals: Well-Being Practice

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This Week Let’s Think on Our Most Important Goals

Simple Instructions:

  1. At the beginning of the week, write out a list of several of your most important intentions, aims, or goals, along with why each one is important to you.
  2. Each day, rewrite your list and remove one goal until you have a single, most-important one remaining. (Consider: removing an intention or goal can be based on the intention or goal itself, or the “why.”)
  3. Continue to rewrite your most-important intention, goal, or aim and its “why” each day for the remainder of the week (Consider: your “why” can evolve as you go.)

Watch this video for an explanation of this Well-Being Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.

Why Is This Practice Important?

Success in life is a narrow path. Narrow because there are a lot of ways you don’t want your life to end up and just a few that you would look forward to. Therefore, if you don’t spend time specifying what’s important to you for success, it’s highly unlikely you’ll stumble onto it randomly.

This process of identification can be challenging because specifying success for ourselves also means specifying our conditions for failure. It’s often easier to live in ambiguity than to become aware that we are not meeting our own expectations. But, in truth, by identifying our most important goals, we can also redefine what it means to “fail.”

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Because in spite of the challenges this path holds, it also offers the greatest opportunities. If you specify what matters to you and why, you can take actions toward accomplishing these things regularly. And what we call “conditions for failure” simply become a gauge for your next action. Are you closer to your goal? Keep it up! Are you farther? Choose another or a different action.

Making strides toward your heartfelt goals or intentions is likely one of the most fulfilling things you can do with your life. This week’s practice is an exercise in setting yourself up to do just that. The goal of this practice is that you can not only achieve what is important to you now, but that you can become better at simply identifying what actually is important for you to pursue.

P.S. For more on exploring what’s important to you, listen to Andy’s podcast discussion with Richard Janes. Richard teaches people how to identify their unique life’s purpose — and he believes it’s a path you can start on any time you decide.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.